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CSF brings together journalists and conservation experts at forum in Brasilia

On November 12th, in Brasília, Brazil, 30 journalists from the Amazonian regional media as well as from the national and international outlets attended an infrastructure-focused workshop organized by CSF-Brasil. These professionals hailed from various organizations including O Eco, IPAM, IMAZON, WWF, and TNC. John Lyons of the Wall Street Journal, Wilson Cabral of Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, and Paul E. Little, anthropologist and infrastructure expert, were also in attendance. Speakers shared information about the impacts of infrastructure projects on ecosystem services in the Amazon. The event provided a forum to discuss infrastructure project planning as well as key environmental, social, economic and legal issues that need to be understood by society.

Negócios Sustentáveis na Amazônia Brasileira

Algumas atividades econômicas desenvolvidas por populações tradicionais na Amazônia podem se tornar uma estratégia complementar de contenção do desmatamento no Brasil. Com esse objetivo, a Conservação Estratégica vem apoiando atividades de baixo impacto e manejadas na região amazônica para que se tornem negócios sustentáveis também sob a perspectiva econômica.

From Prison to Paradise

Coastal habitats worldwide produce billions of dollars in fishing and tourism income. In drawing up a management plan for one of its premier island sites, the Coiba National Park, Panama’s government was faced with decisions over how to make the most of the island gem’s economic potential without damaging its fragile ecosystems. In 2007, CSF joined the Smithsonian Institution and Conservation International to solve that dilemma.

Capturing Value at Bolivia's Most Visited Park

The Arbol de Piedra, or “Stone Tree,” is a lone 20-foot rock that has been sculpted by wind and sand to look like a resilient yet stunted tree. It’s a good metaphor for the tough life on the Andean high plains, and the icon of Bolivia’s Eduardo Abaroa National Wildlife Reserve.

The popular 1.7 million-acre park is often likened to
Yellowstone for its mix of geysers, hot springs, moonscapes, and mountains. It draws roughly 80,000 visitors annually, but its vastness and isolation (650 miles from La Paz) make oversight difficult. Tailings from in-park mining sites and a lack of public facilities have contributed to park pollution. Visitors drive over fragile land. In surrounding communities, 99.4 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Resplendent Roadkill, Almost

On a clear day from the top of western Panama’s 11,400-foot Volcán Barú, you can see the Pacific Ocean to the south and the azure Caribbean to the north. A little harder to spot is the best route around the dormant volcano, the centerpiece of the 35,000-acre Volcán Barú National Park. In 2003, CSF and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) performed an analysis to find out.

Safari Economics: Making More of Tanzania's Megafauna

Tanzania’s national parks teem with the big storybook animals: rhinoceroses, lions, elephants and hippopotami.  Only a few parks however, have historically teemed with visitors.

All That Glitters is Grass

Capim dourado means “golden grass” in Portuguese. Whether rooted in soil or pulled from the ground, capim dourado’s thin stems glow with a golden iridescence, and can be woven into bags, hats, baskets and even jewelry. Hundreds of Brazilian artisans in the northern state of Tocantins depend on it for their livelihood.

Shaping Shipping: the Panama Canal

One of CSF’s central ideas is that we can change the world by grabbing levers connecting to very big things, and pulling at the right time. The Panama Canal qualifies as a very big thing. The hundred-year-old waterway has been the most transformative piece of infrastructure in the Western Hemisphere and, in 2000, was set to transform Panama all over again. That’s when CSF helped a small, local organization pull on one of those levers for change.

It all started with a discussion over dinner at our very first course, in 1999. A young Panamanian lawyer named Eyra Harbar, who worked for the local non-profit law firm Centro de Asistencia Legal Popular (CEALP), was concerned about a plan to dam three rivers and pipe the water into the Canal as part of a scheme to expand it.

CSF celebrates its 15th birthday with 15 stories of success

Since 1998, Conservation Strategy Fund has been committed to making conservation efforts smarter through the use of economics. To celebrate, we're going to be sharing 15 stories over the course of the next few weeks. Each of these stories reflects how CSF's unique training and research programs equip people with the ability to both calculate and articulate the benefits of doing development right. Read our first story below and follow the series through our blog or on Facebook, and share your story at info@conservation-strategy.org.


Act One: Madidi National Park, Unplugged

Economic tools for responsible infrastructure


p>This past June I spent three weeks in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) facilitating one of CSF’s flagship Economics Tools for Conservation courses. The course focused on infrastructure planning and biodiversity conservation in the Albertine Rift. The course was delivered in partnership with L'École Régionale post-universitaire d'Aménagement et de gestion Intégrés des Forêts et territoires Tropicaux (ERAIFT). Holding the course in DRC was a great opportunity to share economic tools with conservationists and infrastructure planners that work in an area which faces new and rapid development options.